Merging is one of the most critical scenarios that can be found in road transport. In this maneuver, the driver is subjected to a high mental load due to the large amount of information he handles, while making decisions becomes a crucial issue for their safety and those in adjacent vehicles. In previous works, it was studied how the merging maneuver affected the cognitive load required for driving by means of an eye tracking system, justifying the proposal of a driver assistance system for the merging maneuver on highways. This paper presents a merging assistance system based on communications between vehicles, which allows vehicles to share internal variables of position and speed and is implemented on a mobile device located inside the vehicle. The system algorithm decides where and when the vehicle can start the merging maneuver in safe conditions and provides the appropriate information to the driver. Parameters and driving simulator tests are used for the interface definition to develop the less intrusive and demanding one. Afterward, the system prototype was installed in a real passenger car and tests in real scenarios were conducted with several drivers to assess usability and mental load. Comparisons among alternative solutions are shown and effectiveness is assessed.
Document type: Article
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